It was the first gig of the year (and decade) for us at Off the Hook Music, just down the road at the Cheese and Grain, Frome. The venue opened its doors for a free event in their cafe area thanks to new promoter, Paddy. With China Bears headlining his first promotion, its a bright start for the young promotor and we will be looking out for his events in the future.
There was a steady number of gig goers coming and going during the evening, with a varied demographic within the crowd who all enjoyed an evening of entertainment. Four bands took to the stage, all offering different genres of music for the audience.
China Bears came together for the first time in a month since the Christmas period, but any concerns about them being out of practice were quickly cast aside as they ploughed through their set list, which lasted over an hour. The crowd were gifted to a whole load of new material from China Bears after sitting down in the later part of 2019 and writing new songs. Tonight ‘Statue Still’, ‘Jolene’, and ‘Back to how It was’, were unveiled to the world for the first time. ‘Jolene’ is screaming out to be a single in the future, the new tracks are a stronger tone of rock Indie than what we have heard before from China Bears.
But It wasn’t all about the new stuff as China Bears also ripped through their known and established songs, stamping the start with tracks like ‘Sunday’ to set the mood and ending the event with their second last track ‘Meet me in London’ which felt a fitting way to end the set.
The support act came in the way of Howlin’ for Riley, there’s a lot of potential with this band, good presence on stage and nicely crafted indie pop tracks. The first time and Alice has stepped in Frome and they got a good reception for their free flowing rock which was easy to listen too.
Written by Kess Anthony
China Bears are an indie four piece band based in Buckinghamshire but this band originally formed in Somerset in 2015 when twin brothers Ivan and Frazer Proctor decided to make music together and now with Dean McCaw and James Zealey adding their musical talents to the band, China Bears have dropped their new single ‘Stay for good’, so let see what’s it’s all about.
The track starts with blistering guitars that takes you by surprise and you begin to realise you have caught up with the record but just at that moment, the track calms right down to a rhythm which introduces Ivan’s voice and mellowed tones.
Ivan then gently pulls outs catchy lyrics which makes your ears pay attention to the record’s words about struggling to get over a break up and lyrics like “Oceans between us on unsettled seas” allows this record to be an Indie display with great momentum and layer of upper tempo and slower beats blinding into one another successfully.
During the song there are a couple of sudden bursts of spiky guitar from Frazer and James which comes out of nowhere which are a nice contrast from the quieter moments within the song, the structure of the record comes from the a good base drum beat from Dean throughout the song.
At the end of the track China Bears strip the song back to just the vocals of Ivan which allows a sadness to bleed out of the lyrics, then a fitting end appears with a smack of guitars to bring the curtains down on Stay for good. Great track!
3.5 Hooks out of 5
Written by Kess Anthony